Monday, September 2, 2013
First Marx Vikings underway
Painting has slowed a bit, driven onto the back burner by some work deadlines. The work I do is highly seasonal, and it's the busy season.
But, I managed to get started on my first batch of six Marx Vikings. I started with a coat of Liquitex white gesso. I've heard that this creates a flexible undercoat which will help prevent flaking later. This may be, but there is a downside. The gesso went on fairly streaky, and covered poorly. I think it would have taken two more coats to get a good white base coat, and I worried that the thick gesso would obscure the fine textures on the Marx castings, especially the mail.
So, I left it at one coat of gesso, and brush painted on a coat of Ceramcoat white (one of several inexpensive lines of acrylics available at home crafting stores such as Michaels). This paint covers well, and in my experience remains fairly flexible when dry.
As you can see, the detail on these Marx figures is quite fine. The faces are all very realistic, and I look forward to seeing what these look like all finished up.
Next step was the flesh, laid in quickly using more craft store acrylic paint. There's no need to be careful with it, as the edges and borders will be tuned up as the cloth and leather gets painted. I use a large #2 brush for these early steps.
I picked out some likely browns and yellows for hair and fur, and laid those in using a finer brush (a #1 with a good point, I believe). All of the flesh and hair was given a layer of Windsor & Newton Peat Brown ink, as I had with the Emhar figures. The swordsman with the round shield is destined to have red hair, but this first attempt doesn't thrill me. I started with a yellow base coat, then used an orange ink wash before the Peat Brown ink went on. It's too bright. I'll try something else and we'll see.
These Marx figures have a very distinctive style. Fairly realistic proportions, and bare knees all around. I considered painting some of their legs as if wearing trews, but the anatomy is so well sculpted they'd have looked at though they were wearing tights. So, these "Vikings" are clearly summer raiders, well inland from the coast and feeling the need for a little breeze between the knees.
Next steps: I've picked out a collection of muted colors and off-whites that will go onto the cloth bits. The two-handed axeman's fur cloak will be a gray wolf's pelt. After that, the wood and leather will get various shades of brown, and the metal bits will be painted. Ink washes and highlights to follow. Anyone who read my previous posts about the Emhar Vikings will recognize the process described there.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Hope you're enjoying this series of posts.
Oh, and this last shot was taken on the "work in progress" shelf. The front edge of a shelf otherwise populated by my collection of inks. I wouldn't be able to paint without an assortment of good acrylic inks. I have Game Workshop, Windsor and Newton, Reaper, Secret Weapon, and Vallejo inks. I'll buy new ones whenever I come across them, just to try them out. If you're not familiar with painting with inks, I highly recommend some experimentation.